Rock & Rye

A Drink On The Rocks…..


February 2010

Vintage Cocktails #5: The Blinker

The Blinker
2 oz Rye Whiskey
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 tsp Raspberry Syrup

This drink is a great twist on the classic sour formula. The less tart grapefruit provides the sour, but not overwhelmingly so, and the raspberry syrup adds the sweet. At first glance, I was a little apprehensive about the fruit combinations, however it turned out to work pretty well.

The secret, I think, is in the juice. For my first attempt at this drink, I went with a white grapefruit juice because that it was I had sitting around the house. It made a decent drink, but lacked that “sparkle” that I think pink grapefruit would provide. All in all a pretty decent cocktail, and one that I will probably add to my whiskey based list.

For the raspberry syrup, (which can be hard to find by the way) I used Smucker’s Red Raspberry Syrup. It has a great taste and viscosity, which works great in cocktails. It is available in my area at Fred Meyer stores.


Vintage Cocktails #4: The Blackthorn

So apparently going through the book in order is out, as some ingredients are proving difficult to acquire, and some just make sense to do together.

Henceforth comes the Blackthorn. Since I had the bottle of Dubonnet opened, I figured I might as well use it while it was good.

The Blackthorn Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Dubonnet
1/2 oz Kirschwasser

This drink is not a winner for me. It was a fine, well balanced drink, just not suited to my tastes.

Vintage Cocktails #3: Arnaud’s Special

Arnaud’s Special is an interesting cocktail in that it contains Scotch. There are only 4 drinks in Vintage Cocktails that include Scotch, and most people have only heard of one: the
Blood and Sand. I am curious as to why there are not more Scotch drinks however, as it is a whisky and there seems to be plenty of those. Granted it’s bolder flavors and smokiness can prove difficult, but all the more reason that people should be taking on the challenge.

The Arnaud’s is really a variation on the Manhattan, and a succesful one at that.

2 oz Scotch
1 oz Dubonnet Rouge
2 dashes orange bitters

The Moroccan Mint Fix

Continuing my exploration of teas and their uses in cocktails, I came up with this idea of not only infusing spirits with mint tea, but also combining the spirits. My inspiration for this came about as I was thinking of my favorite spirits and drinks. This last summer I had toyed with doing a remix of the mojito using gin, mint, and rosemary, but it never came to pass. Lately I have been mixing my 2 favorite spirits, gin and rum, to make a sort of gin/rum sour. So I thought, why not combine all of these ideas.

I started with the spirits, gin and rum, in a 4:3 ratio infused with morrocan, spearmint, and a little peppermint. I let it soak in for probably 6 hours. Mint doesn’t tend to get overly bitter when steeped, so I wasn’t really worried about that, I just soaked until the aroma was what I felt it should be.

Mint Liquor
400ml Tanqueray Rangpur (I used this for the lime flavor hoping that it wouldn’t limit me too much by having that additional flavor)
300ml Cruzan White Aged Rum
2 Tbsp Morrocan Mint Tea
2 tsp Spearmint
1 tsp Peppermint
Infuse mint in spirits for 4-6 hours, or until flavor profile is to your liking.

After I had this prepared, I was thinking through different ideas and I really had a hankering for some ice cream, so I thought I would mix up a substitute. This was a trial run and will need some tinkering, but here’s what I came up with.

Moroccan Mint Fix
1 1/2 oz Mint Liquor
1/2 oz Godiva chocolate liqueur
1 egg white
2 oz cream
Shake long and hard with ice, strain into cocktail glass and top with a splash of soda water

I liked the first attempt, but I thought that it was not quite bold enough. All in all a drink that was rich and creamy with some chocolate mint playing around the edges, but not exactly what I had tasted in my head. Originally I had omitted lime juice, fearing that it would be too much, but I think that the drink needs a little lime juice, as well as a little fresh mint to brighten up the flavors.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Vintage Cocktails #2: The Alamagoozlum

First appearing in The Gentleman’s Companion, or Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask (1939) by Charles Baker,
The Alamagoozlum Cocktail is the next exploration of the vintage spirits. Reportedly created by the one and only J.P. Morgan, this is an unusual drink in that it calls for an extraordinary amount of ingredients, as well as an unusually large dose of bitters.

This particular cocktail will probably be one that I will leave to the books and not partake of for a long time, if ever.
While I am a fan of gin and rum together, as well as using egg whites in cocktails, The large amount of bitters, coupled with the chartreuse created a drink that for me was far too spicy and complex. Perhaps either dialing down the bitters, and/or reducing the Chartreuse may create a drink more to my liking, but as far as J.P.’s cocktail, this one is a bust for me.

The Alamagoozlum
1/2 Egg White
2 oz Genever Gin
2 oz water
1 1/2 oz Jamaican Rum
1 1/2 oz Chartreuse
1 1/2 oz gomme Syrup
1/2 oz Orange Curacao
1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
Shake long and hard in an iced cocktail shaker, and strain into several chilled glasses.

A note on gomme syrup. Gomme syrup is purely simple syrup combined with gum arabic. The gum arabic was added to the simple syrup to add a smoother, silky feel to the cocktail. My feeling is that in this drink, the egg white adds plenty of texture, and plain old simple syrup will suffice.

World’s Strongest Beer

A new beer on the market has unthroned Scottish Brewdog’s Tactical Nuclear Penguin (which weighed in at 32abv) as the strongest beer in the world. Now the title appears to have been taken by a Germany company who has come up with an even stronger brew.

Schorschbrau has created the Schorschbock 40, which as it’s name suggests is a whopping 40abv. The whisky-like brew has gone on sale in Scotland where it sells for £10 a glass.

The beer is sold in .33 liter ceramic bottles. Each one is signed and hand-numbered by the brewmaster. Bottles are sealed with wax by hand and come in a wooden case with a transparent window on one side. Only around 40 bottles have been made.

Now I am not really sure if this should be categorized as a beer, or as a new class of malt beverage, but I do know that no one will be pounding pints of this while remaining standing for very long.

St Germain Elderflower Liqueur

I have been meaning to post this for months, so I guess I’ll get on with it.

What is St Germain Liqueur? Well, St. Germain is an artisanal French liqueur made from hand-picked elderflower blossoms. The white flowers are gathered in the foothills of the Alps for only a few days in late spring. Then, 40-50 men pedal the Alpen French countryside delivering the delicate blossoms to be distilled into this nectar. Blended with a small amount of citrus and natural cane sugar to accentuate the subtle flavor of the elderflowers, and then combined with eau-de-vie, the resulting liqueur is delicate and balanced with fresh floral aromas and flavors and hints of pear, apricot and grapefruit zest.

Winning a double Gold Medal at the 2007 and 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, St Germain Liqueur is a great addition to any home bar, or cocktail menu. The floral aromas lend itself to being paired with citrus based concoctions, as well as gin and champagne cocktails, and it’s relatively low proof of 40ABV, allows it to be versatile without overpowering other ingredients. I would be very interested in trying some of this out in the culinary arena.

True Originals #2: The Hummingbird

True Originals #1: The Samurai

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